I have often said that everything happens for a reason. I actually do believe that things happen the way they're meant to, and we are right where we are supposed to be.
That doesn't mean stuff always makes sense. When I find myself in the middle of a difficult time, my first reaction is almost always, "Why?" I'd like to think I've been through enough and at some point, I deserve for stuff to just start working.
This weekend, I was supposed to be out of town for an annual Halloween party. It was canceled at the last minute, and I found myself with an incredibly empty schedule.
Since I was in town, I figured I'd go to church Saturday night. Our regular Pastor was not there. Instead, he had a church member share a personal message about control - and how we need to be willing to admit when things are out of our control, and hand them over to God.
I won't sit here and pretend to be all religious or try to convince anyone what his or her relationship with God should be. In my opinion, that's totally personal.
But that message is particularly relevant to my life right now. I needed to hear what she had to say. I am going through stuff over which I have zero control.... which has always been a challenge for me.
I have long been that person who thought everything was her fault - and her job to fix. Only child, divorced parents, abandonment issues... yadda, yadda, yadda. I realized several years ago it didn't matter why or how I got that way - I just needed to fix the problem.
It's not always easy. There are times when I still wonder if I've messed up, or I'm not good enough, or I don't deserve better.
But then I remember, that was once the way way I felt all the time. It wasn't something I wondered, either; I was sure I didn't deserve to be happy.
I also used to look at life's challenges as a reminder of how weak I was, and something from which I needed to hide. I figured I just deserved to be unhappy, so I let everything defeat me.
Now, when something is difficult - I meet it head on. I see it as a chance to prove to myself I can handle anything - even the stuff I never thought I could. It's a chance to grow - and maybe have something better than I ever thought possible.
I'd call that progress.